If you find that you need some help with your company’s financials, look into hiring a bookkeeper or an accountant. Take the following into consideration when you’re looking to fill those positions.
Accountants: When looking for an accountant for your business, the emphasis is on finding someone who will not only help you file tax returns, but can also provide ongoing financial advice and guidance. Typically, to find an accountant whom you can place your trust in and the future of your business, it’s advisable to ask other business owners for recommendations. Discuss the type of business that you are starting and see if he or she has experience working with that type of business. Some accountants specialize in working with specific types of businesses and others are particularly familiar with the needs of small businesses.
Use a similar hiring process as you would when hiring any other key employee. Set up interviews and get to know the strengths of each individual. It’s also very important that you have a good rapport and a strong sense of trust in this person who may hold your financial future in his or her hands. Remember that you should be working with an accountant and not relying on him or her to make key financial decisions for you. Therefore, keeping up on the activities of your accountant, or anyone working with your finances, is a must.
A good accountant is someone you can:
Trust implicitly Expect to be up on the latest changes in tax laws and guidelines Rely on for specific advice as it pertains to your business Expect to maintain the confidentiality of your financial information
Bookkeepers: Most people who start out in business are fairly convinced that they will be able to keep their own books. With the proliferation of software products on the market it would seem that the process should be fairly simple. The belief is that you will:
Save money by not hiring a bookkeeper Keep a closer eye on the financial aspect of the business Maintain privacy
While a small start-up business may allow for such self-management, as a business grows it is typically in the best interest of the owner(s) to hire bookkeeping help. Someone who specializes in the field can, in the long run, save you time and money. The details involved in maintaining accurate books can be lost when combined with the many other tasks and responsibilities of running a business. A business owner’s time is too valuable to spend on journal entries. For this reason, there are individuals who specialize in the field.
Prior to hiring a bookkeeper, estimate the amount of hours he or she will need to prepare your books on a monthly basis. Small start-up companies generally do not need a fulltime bookkeeper. Use word of mouth and ask another business owner who handles his or her books and whether or not he or she would recommend their bookkeeper. The local Chamber of Commerce, industry associations, Internet job sites, or even your accountant can also prove to be worthwhile sources for finding a qualified bookkeeper.